At Summit Barcelona this March, when Atlassian revealed they were transforming the user interface for all their products, there was a noticeable gasp from the audience. Fear of change? We all know that once we get used to working in a particular way day in day out with the same software we reel at the words significant and update. Well, fear not because the update is wonderfully intuitive.
All of the navigation elements are on now on the left hand panel, with the global header being removed. The side bar can be expanded or contracted as needed, leaving plenty of screen real estate to focus on working with and creating content.
Here are our thoughts on the changes:
In general I’m pleased how the new design makes it easier to move between applications. My favorite feature at the moment is the Confluence side bar and how it allows more screen real estate, especially on laptops.
Call Newport coined the phrase ‘Deep Work’. He talks about the way design changes have simplified interfaces, making it easier to concentrate on cognitively demanding tasks where your aim is to complete work without distraction. Atlassian have taken the first step and created an improved interface that is easier to work with. Less clutter, fewer distractions.
I really like the update, it definitely makes the application much easier to use. I love the “Your Work” link which I use all the time to get back to content I was working on or quickly head over to my favorited pages. Overall, I love the simplicity of it, although the left navigation bar for the dashboard is slightly cluttered when you’re on the dashboard and you’re an administrator. My favorite feature is the way pages are displayed in the space view. This makes it much easier to find content quickly.
It took me a while to find how to log out and how to get to the profile links. They been moved down to the bottom left-hand area. I’ve indicated where this is in the screen shot below.
I also really like this quick link to space pages, and the link to reorder them in the top right-hand area of the interface. Really helps to jump into the content and make sure that you’re keeping it organised.
Just as moving crockery around in your kitchen cupboards means you keep going to the wrong one, I keep going to the search bar at the top of the interface instead of to the side panel. Some useful tips below to help you out with this.
Some top tips:
- Use the [ key to expand the sidebar when you’re viewing a space
- Use the / to get to search quickly
- Click C to create a new page, E to edit a page and command+S to save a page
Atlassian says, “We’ve got big plans for Confluence individually, and for the way it works together with other Atlassian Cloud apps for even better team collaboration.” I’m excited to find out what else is in store for us. Maybe more will be revealed at Summit in San Jose! We’ll be talking about what we learned at Summit so make sure you check back for the latest news.
Here’s a quick video overview from Dave.